Nader Accuses Toyota of ‘Unseemly Coverup' in Vehicle Recalls

©2010 Bloomberg News
By Angela Greiling Keane
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. is guilty of an “unseemly coverup” in dealing with reports of dangerous sudden acceleration by some of its vehicles, consumer advocate Ralph Nader said.
“Toyota dropped the ball -- too little, too late,” Nader, who founded groups including Public Citizen to push for strong auto-safety regulation, said in an interview yesterday. “It was an unseemly coverup.”
Toyota has known about sudden acceleration complaints since the mid-1980s and should have acted sooner, said Nader, 75, who slammed the auto industry's safety record in his 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed.”
Nader, who said he doesn't own a car, also blamed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for lax oversight and said presidents dating back to Ronald Reagan haven't adequately funded the regulator.
“Toyota dropped the ball, and NHTSA allowed it to drop the ball and did not protect the American public from a very frightening problem,” said Nader, who is based in Washington.

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